Advocacy Thread... What Have YOU Done Today???
So, here's the idea: You ride a bike, you see something that needs attention (ie: tree branches too low, storm drain grates that could eat your tire, glass in the path, etc. etc. etc.). Then you take some pictures, then take steps to fix it. (ie: pull out a broom or pruning shears, make some phone calls, or send emails, volunteer, etc. etc. etc.). Then you post your pictures, tell your story, and inspire others.
Imagine, if every day, each person did one thing to improve their local cycling community, how long would it take before things would really improve for all of us?
So, here's an example:
I found a storm drain near some lightrail tracks (Portland's MAX train), that was in a place that made it unsafe for cyclists and wheelchairists. I found someone in a wheelchair (turns out she was the National Director for the Paralyzed Veterans of America) willing to assist me in getting this fixed.
Here she is with the drain...
Then with the photos, emails and phone calls, I managed to get the city to replace it with one that won't trap a wheel.
Same drain, different wheelchairist
So, What Have YOU Done Today?
You didn't see The Bigger Picture...
Perhaps that "after" photo doesn't show what really happened clearly enough... So, here's a couple more.
Originally Posted by Old Town
(the original image is MUCH larger)
Each image links to my set on flickr with the original (massive) images. If you follow the links, you can see them in more detail.
What the original paint crew did was they followed the curve of the sidewalk. This, and the intended speed of the cars resulted in a need for wider travel lanes. The SB bike lane, being on the outside of the curve, lost out when they used it to gain the extra needed width.
The original plans called for the center line to be straighter, and this would have allowed them to fit the two bike lanes (full width) in the space provided.
So, after much cajoling, badgering, and an internal review, they found the error. They ground out the center line, and straightened out the curve.
Motorists now don't need so much room to make the curve, and the SB cyclists get the space they needed. NB cyclists did lose some space, but they gain on their return trip.
Personally, had I been in the region when the plans were drawn up, I would have pushed for a wider road, and given us six feet on either side. Well I'm here now, and I'm actively involved in advisory committees, and attend meetings. (Even got Tigard to relent and form one).